So let me ask, Do you trust God? If you are a Christian, you have trusted him in the matter of your salvation. That is the greatest thing. God has saved you from sin, hell and the devil. If you are a Christian, you believe he has done that. But if he has done that, can you not also trust him in lesser things like loneliness or even those sometimes dangerous circumstances that cause fear and desperation? The Bible teaches that God will take care of you if you belong to him and are following after Jesus Christ. David wrote in an earlier psalm, "I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread" (Ps. 37:25). The psalm immediately before this one argued, "Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you” (Ps. 55:22). The Apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians, "My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:19).

I referred earlier to Perowne’s comment that Psalm 56 is about "the victory rather than the struggle of faith." But that did not mean that fear is missing from the psalm. On the contrary, the fear described in 1 Samuel 21:12 is evident in the opening verses (vv. 1, 2) and also in David’s second, longer elaboration of the danger (vv. 5-9). There are two emphases.

With this background of David’s flight to Gath in mind, we now read the central verses of the psalm: “When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me” (vv. 3, 4)?

There are three things worth noting about David’s time in Gath, when this psalm was written.

David was alone. He had fled from Saul without any soldiers, in fact, even without food or weapons. We think of him having at least his four hundred valiant men with him when he was in the wilderness. We think of him having hearty companionship and at least some protection. But according to 1 Samuel 22, the gathering of his army occurred after the time in Gath. So David was entirely alone at this time. There was no one with him.

What can man do to me? We know the answer to that, and we do not have to think about it very much. The answer is: A lot! And to prove it all we have to do is read the morning's newspaper. The week I wrote this study, on just one day, I read these stories.